By Raeford Liebenberg, manager at Silvermoon, a Galix company
With the events of the past 18 months, the rules of engagement have changed fundamentally for businesses. Unified communication (UC) and collaboration platforms are now critical enablers, supporting the new work from home (WFH), work from anywhere and hybrid working environments that are now considered the ‘new normal’. As these tools have become more mainstream, they have seen some powerful enhancements to functionality. Many businesses are not using their tools to their full capacity, and often are not even aware of just how powerful they can be.
Accelerated delivery timelines
Remote working is not a new phenomenon, and neither are UC and collaboration platform new tools. Companies that are geographically dispersed have been using these tools for years. The change has come in the vast mainstream adoption of these tools as a result of the pandemic, because practically everyone was forced to use some kind of remote meeting and collaborating tool. This in turn has shifted mindsets as people realise how powerful these tools are, and how they can fundamentally change the way people work.
Another benefit for users of these tools is that enhancements that were in the pipeline have seen accelerated delivery time lines. This includes different backgrounds to mask the real background for people on video, functionality to collaborate in real-time on a single document, and even visual enhancements such as virtual meeting rooms that use virtual reality to ‘bring people together’ around a table. New collaboration tools mean more natural interactions, which enhances the ability for people to effectively work remotely.
Using your tools to their fullest
With all of the enhancements that have been delivered in a short time frame, collaboration and communication have become incredibly powerful. The challenge is that the features have been delivered so fast that it is often difficult to keep up, and many businesses do not even know half of the functions their tools can do. The good news is that the training is there, it is readily available, and best of all, it is free. Most solutions offer welcome videos and quick start guides, as well as more in-depth resources to help businesses get the most value out of their collaboration and communication tools.
Make time to learn
Businesses need to make time to learn their tools and how to maximise their use. From learning the basics such as online meeting etiquette, to more advanced tools like virtual whiteboards and breakout rooms, upskilling people is the key to fully adapting to the new normal. Whether this requires scheduling or simply encouraging staff to explore the tools, the strategy needs to be adapted to the individual organisation, which is where your managed service provider partner can help. Collaboration and communication tools are extremely powerful, and the right partner is key in helping businesses leverage maximum value.
For more on this topic call Raeford Liebenberg at 011 472 7157